My Old Marriage Was Dead

Upon disclosure, I remember struggling to put words to my feelings or to even be able to apprehend Samantha’s feelings.

Initially I was saddened by what my affair had done to Samantha and I was willing to do whatever it took to stay in the same house as my kids. Notice, I wasn’t willing to do whatever it took to stay married to Samantha. I just was not there yet. From the self-deception and disconnection with what I had done to the jaded view I had of Samantha, I just wasn’t thinking clearly. I was thinking somewhat primitively as I was willing to do whatever I could to protect the kids, but in terms of devotion, reconnection, empathy, humility and safety to Samantha, I was a thousand miles away.

I knew I didn’t want to go back to the way the marriage was in the past. I didn’t want to go back to rejection, very little sexual intimacy, feeling like the fourth kid of our home, and overall just feeling belittled and disrespected. I wanted something new, and I wanted something better.

At the EMS Weekend, I was trying to put into words what I was feeling and I remember Rick saying, “Samuel, your old marriage is dead anyway. You blew it out of the water. Who wants to go back to that nightmare?” Samantha’s eyes widened.  At that moment, I knew what he was saying. Rick was helping me to see that we could never go back to that type of dysfunctional marriage. I had blown it up. My affair had ruined it and exposed it for what it was. There were thousands of moments that were awesome. I had willfully chosen to forget about most of them to justify my affair. I had rewritten our past to justify my affair. Samantha had rewritten our marriage to justify how angry she was at me, and to forget so much of the good as well as the bad, and to help justify how self-righteous she felt in being the ‘good one’ in our marriage.

We had little hope that things could ever change.  

But at this point in the game, the momentum shifted. We both realized we didn’t want to go back: and we couldn’t. We had to buy in to the fact that possibly, potentially, there was in fact, a ‘renewed and resurrected’ marriage ahead of us. It meant laying down the old marriage, with its burdens, its hurts, its confusion and its mistakes. It meant starting anew, with the opportunity to see a new marriage which built upon the good, laid aside the bad, and forgave. We both had to forgive. We both had to own some things. We both needed healing. We both needed courage, hope and a plan.

Today, over 8 years later, you’d never know we’ve been through what we’ve been through. Our struggles are more about raising kids, financial strategies and eating habits than they are about infidelity, trust, honesty, or safety.  Our lives have changed, our family is whole, and I wouldn’t trade it for the world. There is a future for you in which your marriage is saved, and there is a future for those who have little choice but to move forward, alone, without your spouse. To say what is optimal is not for me, but to say that there is hope for your own healing and your own renewed joy is definitely within my range. Today is not the extent of your future. Today’s pain and hurt and uncertainty don’t need to define your future or your legacy my friend. There is a redeemed tomorrow that is wonderful. It is there. It is available. 

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I can agree with on this one

I can agree with on this one 100%, shortly after discovery i had a sense our marriage had to get better if it was going to continue and not that much later as I was doing my research I came across a statement that confirmed what I believed, it stated that if the marriage you have after an affair is not much better then what you had before there is a very good chance an affair will happen again. That was all the motivation I needed. I was energized to work at not just fixing our marriage but making it better. It does start with forgiveness, the fact that I was able to forgive my wife so early made everything that happened after possible. It also gave me a task something to work on which gave me something much better to think on instead of what had happened, which in turn speed up healing a lot. It was still frustrating at times, I was able to focus on the positives of my wife and kept bring up the many good things we had had, but it took her a while to start to see me in a way that was positive enough to start to love again. She had so focused on a few things making them into a bigger problem than they were in order to justify what she had done, and I the faithful one who was able to look at her in a positive way over forgiving her for what she had done but she took so much longer, was frustrating, looking back at it now though, it was that I never stopped loving her I just did not do a very good job of showing it, were she just assumed I did not love her, again looking at only a few incidents to making her case and keep thinking on them over and over again. I had to create a safe environment for her to begin to relook at what had happened and at the same time point out that we could have a much better marriage then we ever had before.

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